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6 of the Most Incredible Inventions in World History are Computers,
the Worldwide Internet, Satellites, Automobiles, Boats, and Airplanes.
Before automobiles, boats, and airplanes were invented--man was limited
to walking, swimming, riding horses, and riding camels to get to one place
from another. Before computers and the Internet were invented, many people
turned to books, the stars, and people for wisdom and knowledge.
Modern technology has advanced over the years like never before! Who would
ever think that a person could have an "Electronic Mapping Device" such as
a "Global Positioning System" in their car, boat, or airplane to help
navigate to their destination?
Back in the 19th Century and earlier, who would have ever thought that we
would have computers and the Internet to be able to communicate with people
from all over the world in a split second instead of by snail mail that took
possibly weeks and weeks to get to their destination?
Who would have ever thought that we would have satellites in our Earth's
Galaxy that would help the entire world to more effectively communicate
faster than ever before!
It seems what was once considered science fiction is now real life!
The advancements in technology are truly amazing and continue to advance
every day! One advancement that has truly changed the way that people drive
and navigate the world are "Global Positioning Systems".
What is a Global Positioning System (GPS)?
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S. space-based radionavigation
system that provides reliable positioning, navigation, and timing services
to civilian users on a continuous worldwide basis -- freely available to all.
For anyone with a GPS receiver, the system will provide location and time.
GPS provides accurate location and time information for an unlimited number
of people in all weather, day and night, anywhere in the world.(GPS.gov)
The GPS is made up of three parts: satellites orbiting the Earth; control
and monitoring stations on Earth; and the GPS receivers owned by users.
GPS satellites broadcast signals from space that are picked up and identified
by GPS receivers. Each GPS receiver then provides three-dimensional location
(latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus the time.(GPS.gov)
Individuals may purchase GPS handsets that are readily available through
commercial retailers. Equipped with these GPS receivers, users can accurately
locate where they are and easily navigate to where they want to go, whether
walking, driving, flying, or boating. GPS has become a mainstay of transportation
systems worldwide, providing navigation for aviation, ground, and maritime operations.
Disaster relief and emergency services depend upon GPS for location and timing
capabilities in their life-saving missions. Everyday activities such as banking,
mobile phone operations, and even the control of power grids, are facilitated by
the accurate timing provided by GPS. Farmers, surveyors, geologists and countless
others perform their work more efficiently, safely, economically, and accurately
using the free and open GPS signals.(GPS.gov)
***BELOW ARE MORE DETAILS ABOUT GPS***
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S.-owned utility that
provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services.
This system consists of three segments: the space segment, the control
segment, and the user segment. The U.S. Air Force develops, maintains,
and operates the space and control segments.(GPS.gov)
The space segment consists of a nominal constellation of 24 operating
satellites that transmit one-way signals that give the current GPS satellite
position and time. The control segment consists of worldwide monitor and
control stations that maintain the satellites in their proper orbits through
occasional command maneuvers, and adjust the satellite clocks. It tracks
the GPS satellites, uploads updated navigational data, and maintains health
and status of the satellite constellation. The user segment consists of the
GPS receiver equipment, which receives the signals from the GPS satellites
and uses the transmitted information to calculate the user’s three-dimensional
position and time.(GPS.gov)
GPS satellites provide service to civilian and military users. The civilian
service is freely available to all users on a continuous, worldwide basis.
The military service is available to U.S. and allied armed forces as well
as approved Government agencies.(GPS.gov)
A variety of GPS augmentation systems and techniques are available to enhance
system performance to meet specific user requirements. These improve signal
availability, accuracy, and integrity, allowing even better performance than
is possible using the basic GPS civilian service.(GPS.gov)
The outstanding performance of GPS over many years has earned the confidence
of millions of civil users worldwide. It has proven its dependability in the
past and promises to be of benefit to users, throughout the world, far into the future.(GPS.gov)
Global Positioning Systems, n.d., Retrieved July 10, 2008 from gps.gov [Website]
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